Today we collected Carl and Silvia Jones who are visiting the area on holiday from Cambridge UK, for a full day trip tour with an emphasis on photography. The light was great and we began our day exploring the farmland at the back of Santa Pola. Here we recorded a variety of good species including - Collared Pratincole (100+), Red-rumped Swallow (numerous), Alpine Swift (2), Melodious Warbler (1), Greater-short toed Lark (4), Montagu's Harrier (3), Bee-eater (5), Cirl Bunting (6) Woodchat Shrike (2) and many of the more common species associated with this habitat.
Red-rumped Swallow - Santa Pola area
After a brief stop for refreshments we were heading for El Pinet and some superb photographic opportunities for Carl, who certainly managed better images than those seen below! During the 90 minutes we spent birding the area, we recorded the following species of note; Common Tern (20+), Sandwich Tern (30+), Whiskered Tern (5), Gull-billed Tern (2), Black-winged Stilt (numerous), Avocet (numerous), Mediterranean Gull (30+), Slender-billed Gull (8), Audouin's Gull (8), Yellow Wagtail (3) and a very showy Water Rail.
The final stop of the day was La Mata, here we walked from the main car park towards the hides and then out towards the horse paddocks and back in a large loop. Again, many of the usual suspects were seen, noteworthy editions included - Woodchat Shrike (6), Iberian Green Woodpecker (3), Sparrowhawk (1), Purple Heron (1), Kentish Plover (12), Stone Curlew (20+), Little Owl (2) and our main target for this area - Larks with Crested, Thekla, Greater and Lesser Short-toes all being recorded.
A great days birding and many thanks to Carl and Silvia, it was a pleasure to show you around and hopefully we can post some of your great shots on here when they have been processed. If you are visiting the area and would also like to be guided in general or would like to target some specific rare or scarce species please get in touch. More information on the range of day tours we offer can be found on the main website - www.aquilabirdtours.com